Monday, April 20, 2020

161st Air-Assault Brigade, 83rd Group Army's unit number identified by CCTV as "32145"

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

PR photos of the day: 161st Air-Assault Brigade

Soldiers assigned to an air assault brigade of the 83rd Group Army under the PLA Central Theater Command engage in combat with simulated enemies under fire support by helicopters during an assault, capture and control training exercise at a field training ground in the hinterland of China's Taihang mountains on Dec. 16, 2017. ( by Feng Yu)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Photos of the day: 161st Air-Assault Brigade conducted its first confrontation drill at Zhurihe training base

Less than 100 days after its commission, the 161st Air-Assault Brigade just conducted its first confrontation drill with 18 of its organic helicopters and training support from the PLAN Marine brigade.   The PLAN Marine, of course, has the most operational experience with vertical assault resulting from the PLAN anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden since 2008.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The 1st LH (Army Aviation) Brigade is now the 161st Air-Assault Brigade (空中突击第161旅), 83rd Group Army, Central Theater Command

The great PLA orbat reform of 2017 continues -- the former 1st LH Brigade now has an organic light assault infantry detachment and renamed as the 161st Air-Assault Brigade accordingly.   It is no-longer just a battlefield transport arm of the 83rd Group Army anymore.

To be clear, the PLA has been experimenting with heli-assault tactics in combined arms operations since the formation of its LH (Army Aviation) Corps (here), albeit at a low scale.  In 2005, the CMC detached elements from the 149th Mech Infantry Division to form the experimental 155th Special Light Mechanized Regiment as a first step of putting theoretical theory into practice.  In addition to the 155th, a smaller Heli-Assault battalion battle group was also created at the Nanjing MR to further refine small-unit, heli-assault operations.   Fast forward to 2017, Air-Assault is now part of the ground force's arsenal.  More LH units are expected to be converted into Air-Assault Brigades as part the orbat reform.

The PLAAF is also doing the same (see below) 

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